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City councillor trying to revive Caribbean street-side BBQ

Support for the return of the Preston street-side grill has been overwhelming and even has some city councilors on board
A cook for Silver Spoon in Preston grills up chicken on the street-side BBQ

A Jamaican restaurant in Preston that was forced to close their street-side grill due to a complaint is hoping efforts from a city councillor will get them back on the sidewalk soon. 

The Silver Spoon at 656 King St E was told last week they had to shut down their grill on the Preston road and take it out back. Property standards complaints were filed to the city and by-law officers shut them down.

Ward 3 councillor, Corey Kimpson is now working with the Caribbean eatery to help return what the owner Cass calls the soul of his restaurant. 

"I brought it to the attention of the city and I have been working with staff in my office in an effort to help support the business," said Kimpson. "As a small business owner myself, I am keenly aware of the many policies, procedures, departments and levels of government that often must be consulted for what appears to be a seemingly simple and popular request."

The city is currently working with the owners of the Silver Spoon to find a way to allow their popular outdoor barbecue to operate in a manner that complies with the regulations in place.

To Kimpson's understanding, the owners of the Silver Spoon must get permission from the Region of Waterloo to extend their patio to allow the barbecue.

"Staff and I met with the Silver Spoon this morning and have provided the regulations and contact information for the region," she added. 

Cass and his staff are eager to get the grill back out front and are looking forward to working with his neighbours and the city. 

"We just want to be able to bring the islands to the community again We love this community," Cass said. "When the city workers drive by they love us, the ambulance drivers, police it don't matter, they always show us love." 

Kimpson is aware that some businesses may be impacted by the smoke, but she said it's her job to make sure that the rules are being followed and sometimes that means decisions have to be made that people are not going to agree with. 

"In situations like these one must look at what might be done to compromise with all parties involved," she said. 

"I certainly want to do what I can to support all business in our community and the residents who call Cambridge home.  Open communication and the willingness to consider alternate approaches, modifications or ideas can often lead to a better outcome overall."

One of the businesses who identified themselves to CambridgeToday as having past issues with the barbecue was Ginny's Boutique only a few doors down. The business owners said they were not the ones who complained to the city and have no interest in affecting their neighbours business, but would like to come to an understanding. 

For now, the Silver Spoon has Kimpson's support as they work through the process with the region. 

"Cambridge is a welcoming and diverse community with many businesses and groups that bring so much to our community," she added.

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Joe McGinty

About the Author: Joe McGinty

Joe McGinty is a multimedia journalist who covers local news in the Cambridge area. He is a graduate of Conestoga College and began his career as a freelance journalist at CambridgeToday before joining full time.
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